One-to-One Marketing Is Here to Stay

Even with a diverse membership, and varying interests and needs, personalized attention to members’ unique needs is still a hallmark of the credit union difference.




Walk into any sales strategy meeting and one-to-one marketing is likely to be the hot topic. But with a diverse membership, and varying interests and needs, how can you offer promotions personalized for each member?

Think about it … one member at a time. Once, this concept was an insurmountable obstacle for marketers. Now picture one-to-one offers that present themselves to members at various touch points such as online banking, eStatements or email marketing - stacked offers, built in advance, that are relevant to each member, just waiting for the next opportunity to cross sell the next new product. Sound too good to be true? Advances in MCIF technology solutions that compile masses of data and make sense of it all are in place today, making the marketer’s job easier.

Read on to learn why members of one credit union clicked on personalized offers presented 1,348 times, closed 46 new loan accounts with total balances of $667,128 and created 15 new deposit accounts with total deposits of $150,7454—all in just 8 months.

One-to-one Marketing: A Case Study

With upwards of 63 million adult Americans handling their personal finances online, now is the ideal time to make the leap to more targeted eMarketing. Fort Belvoir Federal Credit Union, Woodbridge, Va., made the leap. The credit union made a strategic decision to refit its eMarketing strategy to better reach its members who regularly use online services.

“Our primary reason for moving to a one-to-one marketing approach was to get the right message to the right person at the right time,” said Jacque Connor, vice president, marketing and business development, at Fort Belvoir FCU. “We were looking at ways to target members more personally. We knew we needed more than just a generic set of banners through the usual channels on our Web site.”

According to Connor, an important step in shifting the credit union’s marketing strategies was getting member feedback, which they gathered through focus groups. “What we heard was, ‘We know you know us. We want you to tell us what we need. Make suggestions for using the services that would be beneficial to our needs.’”

The feedback reinforced Fort Belvoir FCU’s decision to further develop its online marketing strategies.To drive this initiative Fort Belvoir FCU turned to DigitalMailer and AdeptMedia, which teamed up in 2006 to offer multi-channel targeting capabilities. Connor said DigitalMailer’s email marketing tools and AdeptMedia’s “DeepTarget” data-mining and tracking tools made for the right combination: a system that would be responsive to members’ needs. As a result, Fort Belvoir can now reach members across all online channels – Web site, online banking service, eStatements and eLerts – with information tailored to individual requests and needs.

Putting it all together

So how does it work? Essentially, says Connor, Fort Belvoir FCU creates various “stacks” of offers then determines which stack to deliver to which members based on their MCIF profile. The data is forwarded to DeepTarget, which sets up the ad and pulls the groups to receive a particular offer; the credit union delivers these individualized offers to members using their online systems.

Connor says she likes the fact that the stacked offers are constantly running in the background. “When staff get busy they might not have time to suggest other products or services, but DeepTarget always asks. Once it’s in the computer, based on the pre-set conditions, it will ask.”

“Now we are fairly precise in getting the right offers to the right markets,” said Connor. “Members sign up for eLerts using their account numbers, so the system can identify the appropriate stack of ads. And once they’re logged on to the web site with their username and password, members who have car loans with us won’t see car-loan offers. Similarly, if a member has a checking account, he won’t see checking account promos, but may see bill-payment banners, or other offers. Members receive information about products they don’t have with us instead of those they already use.”

A Second Unique Email Application

Today, more and more marketers are starting to take advantage of one of the largest opt-in, permission-based email lists they’ll ever have – the monthly eStatement notification list. They’ve come to realize that even if a member never goes online to view their eStatement, there is still the opportunity for that once-a-month contact in the notification email itself. The days of generic “Dear Member: Your eStatement is Ready” notices are fast disappearing. Marketers are seizing opportunities to say something important to the thousands of members that open their email from the credit union, or at least read the subject line. Targeted email notifications with one-to-one offers inside take advantage of this contact to cross sell additional products and services.

Fort Belvoir FCU is also using its DeepTarget information in a unique email application developed by DigitalMailer on 22,000 email notifications and email alerts each month. By moving to a one-to-one marketing strategy, the credit union is now reaching all eStatement members with well-timed, individual messages more closely tied to their own needs. That’s the power of the right offer, in front of the right member, at the right time. And it has never been more successful than when you let the technology do the work for you.

Gathering feedback, getting results

One-to-one marketing is creating a buzz today, but the premise behind it is as old as the credit union movement: Personalized attention to members’ unique needs. Now, with new eMarketing channels, enhanced digital technology and a little creative copywriting, you can ensure the personal touch that gets the right offer to the right member at the right time.

For more information about DeepTarget or one-to-one eMarketing, call (866) 994-4900 or visit

DigitalMailer ( is a leader in digital communication and the tools needed to reach your online members. To subscribe to our eNewsletter that shares resources, industry trends, best practices and valuable lessons learned from financial service providers, visit:


Ron Daly is the president/CEO of DigitalMailer, Inc., an eMarketing firm providing digital communication tools to credit unions.




June 11, 2007



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